Dr G.J. Somsen
Geert Somsen's research focuses on the history of science and international relations. He currently pursues three lines of work.
1. In a number of studies of scientific internationalism Somsen looks at ways in which science has been projected as a model for international cooperation. He follows such idealizations from the Belle Époque to the early United Nations. Case studies deal with H.G. Wells's campaigns for a scientific World State, Mussolini's grand exhibition Scienza Universale, dreams of a world-wide scientific aristocracy in a novel by Bertha von Suttner, and the secret diplomatic missions of universalist philosopher Henri Bergson.
See here for an interview on one of these topics.
2. In the HERA Joint Reseach Project The Scientific Conference: a Social, Cultural, and Political History, Somsen examines how scientists have enacted internationalism. His focus is on the rise of an international conference culture in the first series of regular chemistry conferences from 1893 to 1914. Under Somsen's supervision PhD candidate Georgiana Kotsou analyzes routines and rituals in later chemistry conferences, both at a parge scale and in small elite meetings.
3. Most recently, Somsen has turned to the persistent legacy of European imperialism in international science.